The Gardens of Chiconia 24: digging for water

OK, I’m not reporting the discovery of an artesian well in the back yard.

Screen shot 2014-10-04 at 5.50.21 PM
No, what I have been doing is excavating years of dead wood, decomposing leaves, stones, weeds, disintegrating plastic netting and about a dozen assorted pots, some frankly hideous and some really rather nice. The point of all this sweaty activity was to discover if there was a pond in Frogtopia, which is how I am now describing the Place of Big Leaves. And there was, but boy was it nasty. So after much sweating, cursing, bending double and cursing, I have installed an alternative water feature. Instead of the shallow basin of stagnant slurry we now have a classical square tub in charcoal, with a taller column in it, from the top of which bubbles and trickles a small stream of endlessly circulating water. It makes a nice noise. It doesn’t splash everywhere. The froglets approve, judging by the chorus they struck up as I headed indoors. I just have to get the power hooked up as I can’t reach the socket – it requires the long legs of the Husband, who is still asleep in preparation for night shift. Frogtopia is now looking rather better. It helps that there are no more dead and dying leaves, straggly weeds and a strong air of neglect…

Screen shot 2014-10-04 at 5.50.32 PM

Also today we have collected my green children from the last house. Not the ones planted in the ground, but everything in pots and tubs. They are lined up in the late sunshine on the edge of the patio, they’ve had several large drinks, and they appear to be content. Especially the flame tree, which has begun to flame. The Husband, who is the tree’s official owner, is ecstatic!

Screen shot 2014-10-04 at 5.49.42 PM

Soon, we’ll be decided where they’ll be put into the ground, but in order for that to happen, I have to locate some graph paper and draw a few ideas for garden layouts. I’m fairly confident the mango and avocado will go into the orchard end. I’ll probably plant the cherry guava there too. I can’t help feeling I’m going to want to visit the lemon and lime trees a bit more often, and so they will be closer to the house. The herbs will have to go into beds near the patio door, so I can just step out and pick some without a trek. I’m not too concerned. Everything will find its proper place if I give it time. And I’m not forgetting the other plants: the angel trumpet, the strelitzia, helliconia, ginger, banana suckers, orange trumpet vine and a succulent or two. But that will have to be a separate expedition of its own, involving fork, spade, pots, soil and another trip with the trailer.

Screen shot 2014-10-04 at 5.50.01 PM

I feel as if I made some progress today. Which is nice, because I sort of feel like I’m just treading water in the house. No matter how many boxes I unpack, it still looks bare and messy. The place won’t be properly dressed until I have bookcases up and books in them. And a sofa. And pictures on the walls. Patience, however, is not my strong suit, a fact that may be familiar to you…

Right, time to go – I’m due at the Dowager’s tonight.